Sunday, April 23, 2017

Don't have everything you need to paint? - don't worry

Here is a sketch I completed today at a local stream.  I've also included a page from my sketchbook to further illustrate some ideas I'll pursue later in the studio.

This sketch represents the bones of what I'll work from later in the studio.  A number of things added some challenges (some avoidable, some not) to this day of sketching.  

My brush carrier had opened and most of my brushes had spilled out in the car.  Rather than go back I decided to forge ahead.  Another "mistake" I'd made was setting up directly in the sun - but this was the view I wanted to capture.  The paints dried very quickly in the pallette as well as on the paper.  Oh yes - I also did not bring my easal or paper towels.  So basically I brought myself and a partially stocked paint box :)  I hadn't restocked since my last outing.

Many year ago, any one of the above factors would have caused me to get frustrated and potentially not to have done any painting at all.  I've now painted enough that the act of painting this on location has developed, for me, a visual memory of the scene/location that will assit in final painting.

I remember a quote attributed to Picasso.  Someone had asked him what he would do if he were to run out of red paint (he was in the midst of a painting with a great deal of red I suppose.)  His answer -  "Then I'd use black"  In other words - he's express his idea with whatever material was at his disposal.  One of the things I strive for is to not let the medium get in the way of what I'm trying to express or capture if you will.

As soon as I completed the sketch I put down the watercolor block and my paints to dry before packing up. (This wouldn't take long in the sun).    I took the time to grab my sketch book, turn around and sketch a  couple of different views of the waterfall.  I will continue to develop these ideas into a finished painting or drawing at a later time.

The above picture is sketchbook page which illustrates the method I'e been using lately.  The middle of the page is blocked off for a standard size 8 X 10 drawing.  I then section off the border, which if I do decide to complete and frame the center image - the border skeches and notes would be covered by the mat.  The boarder sketches and notes are ideas for other paintings or notes on the location at the time of the painting. The sketches are tiny, but help me save time to work out design elements before starrting a finished piece.

These sketches are enlarged roughly 50%

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